How am I so different?

The world has changed, and changed fast. Doubtless people will too. But… the generation time for a bacterium – or a computer program is a lot shorter than that for humans. We adapt pretty well, we fake it pretty well… but really, it’s going to take generation and lots of selective breeding pressure to change the wet-ware. And it kind of depends which wet-ware breeds and survives, I guess.

I was listening to Stan Rodgers ‘Northwest passage’, trying to find inspiration and focus through the whack-a-mole of dealing with my personal ‘Dolores Umbridge’ in local government. She’s cost you at least four books out of me, and I can’t afford that. It’s a wonderful song, celebrating all of what the current fashion thinks absolutely wrong and men that are doubtless due for cancelling. The singer – heading away from his ‘settled life’ asks the question “how am I so different?” And the truth is I don’t think we really are that different to those who left everything settled and known to explore ‘a land (and sea) so wild and savage’.

Which is a good thing seeing as it finally looks like we’re getting a way forward in space, largely thanks to Elon Musk. We’re going to need people who are not that different to Kelsey and Franklin and the men who cracked the mountain ramparts to make a path. Humans are not changing that much, and I suspect their taste in songs and books will soon bend back that way once we start to leave our settled, heavily governed lands and the ‘Dolores Umbridges’ who ‘benevolently’ administer them for us.

And this is what I wish to celebrate in my books. The spirit that took those risks and braved the unknown. They knew that many had tried… and not come back.

Forward. I will find my writing mojo and focus on that.

11 thoughts on “How am I so different?

        1. May the ghost of Mary Mahoney and her nine blind, illegitimate children chase her so far over the hills of damnation that the Good Lord Himself can’t find her with a telescope?

          I’ve always been rather fond of that one. Or “May you have a daughter. May she marry a ghost, bear him a kitten, and may the High Lord of Glory permit it to get mange!”

  1. “She’s cost you at least four books out of me, and I can’t afford that.”
    This is an abomination that must not be allowed to stand!
    Umbridge, I curse thee! A pox upon thy house! May you be covered in warts, and boils, and thy nether regions rot with disease!
    Now, with that off my chest (and hopefully on hers) let us agree that the flaming git has delayed those four books rather than eliminated them.
    Take heart in the saying that this too shall pass.
    Will be waiting as patiently as this crusty old phart can manage for those aforementioned books to appear in the inbox for a little final adjustment.

  2. Real people still want stories with wildness and grit and real heroes/heroines. If you write them, they will come.

  3. I am greatly sympathetic to your “will cost me 4 books” dismay. If it cheers you any, we all have some version of unfair fate: bureaucrats, loss, illness, responsibilities…

    All my life, an unrealistic part of me has always claimed “if only my office were properly set up, if only no one needed me for anything else, if only I could get enough sleep, if only I didn’t have my worries, if only there were sufficient stability/upside potential in my life, (and the big one) if only I could live forever… why, then, what couldn’t I do?

    If only.

  4. Allow me to commend you on your taste in music.

    And Godspeed on both your writing and dealing with petty tyrants.

  5. I’ve mentioned before, I suspect one of the real innovations of people is we’ve got programmable wetwear.

    There is a lot of uncertainty on how far the programmability goes but it is definitely there, and both very powerful and can get us into tons of trouble.

  6. I just got word that one bureaucrat lost an ongoing dispute with a bigger bureaucrat, and those of us in the trenches (so to speak) have to change a lot of things at the last minute to make all bureaucrats happy.

    A very minor problem in the larger scheme of things, but irritating to infuriating (depending on what plans have just been scuppered) none the less.

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